Propeller and inflow vortex interaction: vortex response and impact on the propeller performance

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The aerodynamic operating conditions of a propeller can include complex situations where vorticity from sources upstream can enter the propeller plane. In general, when the vorticity enters in a concentrated form of a vortex, the interaction between the vortex and blade is referred to as blade–vortex interaction or BVI. The interaction may affect the propeller performance as well as its noise production. In the present paper, investigations of the interaction of a wing tip vortex generated by a lifting surface upstream of the rotor plane and an eight-bladed propeller are reported. Utilizing two ends of an upstream wing with non-symmetrical airfoil, the rotation of the incoming vortex could be made to co-rotate or to contra-rotate with the propeller. The ensuing velocity fields were quantified with the help of particle image velocimetry (PIV), and the propeller performance was evaluated with the help of a rotating shaft balance (RSB) mounted on the propeller shaft. The results describe the displacement of the vortex core, as it moves through the rotor plane as well as the positive effect on the thrust and torque of the contra-rotating vortex and the opposite of it in the case of the co-rotating vortex. The current research could be applied to analyse the influence of the incoming vortex on the propeller, e.g., ground vortex, tip vortex shed from a control surface, etc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419–428
JournalCEAS Aeronautical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Vortex flow
  • Blade vortex interaction


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